Why Brown Won’t Unload on eMeg at Dem Convo


You could argue that Jerry Brown, who is going to be his party’s nominee for governor, ought to accept the notion that Meg Whitman is going to be the Republican nominee and should begin campaigning against her at the California Democratic Party convention this weekend in LA.

The general election is already under way, says this argument, posited mostly by progressive Democrats, and Brown is just wasting time, letting Whitman get away with murder as she gains positive name ID using corporate CEO as a brand. Given the scandal in the banking industry, Wall Street’s misadventures and the collapse of the American economy, who would ever have thought that a candidate could gain traction as a corporate bigwig?

Whitman’s succeeded so far because no one is attacking her from the left (except Level the Playing Field and the California Accountability Project, neither of which has put their anti-Meg slams into serious TV). eMeg’s GOP opponent, Steve Poizner, attacks Whitman from the right – which actually helps her look somewhat moderate in the general election against Brown.

So with all the news organizations gathered in LA for the Democratic convention, why not use the opportunity to get some free media and launch an all-out attack against eMeg? Frame it around three bullet points:

1) She’s a corporate fat cat who’s out of touch with real people and in cahoots with the greedy, bloodsucking parasites on Wall Street who have wrecked our economy.

2) She’d undo California’s progressive laws seeking to reverse global warming and set polar bears out on ice floes.

3) She’d build more prisons at the expense of schools – how’s that supposed to help California grow jobs and become more competitive in the modern economy?

Yes, Brown could fall prey to the siren song of a full-time, 24-7, balls-to-the-wall general election starting right now. And be broke by Labor Day.

Further, you might ask, why would he want to poke a stick at Whitman right now? Let sleeping billionaires lie seems to make more sense. Why do anything to encourage Whitman to start spending any of her unlimited funds on Brown any earlier than it’s gonna happen anyway?

Which is why, when Brown speaks Saturday, he’s likely to rally the Democratic base and speak harshly in general about Republicans, but not too personally about Whitman. There will be some obvious references: you can’t do a populist jeremiad without bellowing about the bankers on Wall Street and their black-hearted corporate cronies. But don’t expect too much about Goldman Sachs, eBay stock spinning and investments in Skype.

As one strategist close to the Brown campaign told Calbuzz: “It would be a waste of opposition research to roll it out now.”

Sure, we’d love to see the fireworks. But then again, we don’t have to maintain the fire.

That’s the story of the Hurricane: Once again, Carly Fiorina is shocked – shocked! – to learn of alleged unsavory, perhaps illegal, conduct by employees under her watch as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. As all good Calbuzzers know, Hurricane Carly has already professed to know nothin’ about nothin’ to do with HP’s shipments to Iran of hundreds of millions of dollars of products, through a third party company, during her tenure.

Now comes the Wall Street Journal (subscription) to report that the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department have joined the governments of Russia and Germany in investigating allegations that HP went to the wallet for $11 million in bribes to win a lucrative contract with the Russian prosecutor general’s office, while Fiorina was in charge. So, for the second time, iCarly is rolling out her see-no-evil, hear-no-evil act:

“Carly has no knowledge of these alleged actions,” said her spokeswoman, Amy Thoma. “When she served as the CEO of HP if she had been aware of any illegal or inappropriate behavior by any employee she would have taken action immediately to terminate the parties involved.”

Which leaves four possibilities:

1) Double agents in the German and Russian governments, joined by moles in the SEC and DOJ, have all been duped by demon sheep in the Chuck DeVore for Senate campaign into leaking word of a baseless, phony investigation.

2) Fiorina, who never stops boasting of what a swell job she did as HP CEO, was simply ignorant of what was going on in her own company.

3) The whole messy business has slipped her mind.

4) She’s lying.

Calbuzz bets: 2) or 4).

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There are 4 comments for this post

  1. avatar Ernie Konnyu says:

    Through my long political experience I learned that when journalists do not ideologically like a candidate they are prone to take minor issues about them and create great big smelly molehills.

    Take the HP shipments to Iran of hundreds of millions of HP product and the Calbuzz claim that Carly, “know nothin’ about nothin’”. In fact, Fiorina claimed exactly the opposite, namely that HP shipments to Iran were in full compliance with U.S. laws.

    Then Calbuzz goes one worse. With respect to the $30+ million HP sale to Russia and an alleged bribe by one of her 40,000 employees, Calbuzz attacks Carly again with the “see no evil, hear-no-evil act’” line. Then you posit four possibilities as Fiorina’s explanations with the fourth being, “She’s lying”. A serious charge against a major Senate candidate without any real foundation. How dastardly of you.

  2. avatar Silent Sleuth says:

    The average voter has such a poor short-term memory that I think you guys are right. Much better for the Brownster to wait til Sept. or Oct. to bring out the big guns/ads/critique. It’s a question of what your most recent impression of a candidate is, that counts when you enter the voting booth – not some speech that occurred 7 months ago. Besides, isn’t it just us junkies that are paying that much attention to the governor’s race now?

  3. avatar Silent Sleuth says:

    Oh, and Ernie – do you think actual evidence about hundreds of millions in HP product shipped to Iran and bribes to Russia to make sales don’t smell just a little? (I do appreciate your choice of “dastardly, though.)

  4. avatar syncro says:

    Ernie, you’re wrong. There is nothing dasterdly about scrutinizing the veracity and character of a candidate. Humans lie. Humans in positions of power where huge fortunes are at stake lie a lot. People running for office lie to get elected lie. The mainstream press pretends that this does not happen and will almost never ever use the word “lie” in describing powerful liars like John McCain or Joe Lieberman, etc., even when it is the most appropriate, accurate word to use.

    Look at and listen to Carly Fiorina and her campaign operation. Do you think she is capable of lying about things she did as CEO in order to advance or protect her self interests as a candidate? Come on, Ernie! It should alwayws be one of the possibilities a reporter considers in such circumstances as this $11 million bribe situation. ALWAYS.

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